We each have a choice: to approach life as a creator or a critic, a lover or a hater, a giver or a taker. – Jim Tressel
In my opinion, we’ve gotten out of control with being “PC.” For me, political correctness is nothing more than a function of dishonesty. People say things claiming to be “PC” because they don’t want to be honest or aren’t willing to say what they believe. Instead, what we need is authentic leadership that leads with a loving heart. Unfortunately, the ‘love’ word really bothers people. But this isn’t about romance, it’s simply about kindness, allowing you to say what you believe without being hateful.
I recently shared a blog about candor, in fact several posts touched on this concept recently. What I want leaders to understand is that candor can be delivered without being mean. We shouldn’t have to choose between being politically correct and being kind. I find that most great leaders clearly know what they believe; and they clearly state their opinions in a way that allows you to understand their heart without being offended. There are some topics that are so controversial that we believe it must be black or white, right or wrong, but that’s not necessarily the case. Great leaders must be able to say, “I understand what you believe. I don’t agree with that, but I appreciate your leadership and the way you conduct yourself, treating others kindly without disrespect or malice.” Unfortunately, this has become one of those things that is really hard for people to do.
In today’s world, there is a level of fear that keeps people from being authentic. Leaders have got to lead with love and clearly understand that we all have a different perspective of the sunrise. No matter where you are in the world, the sun rises, but how you see it depends on the place that you are standing. We can all sort of describe it in the same way, but none of us experience it in the same way. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to be authentic with your views, but not use those views as a bludgeon, of sorts, to beat people up.
By saying what you believe with grace, it allows others to believe in your authenticity even if they don’t agree with you. Surprisingly, I think people are looking for authentic today more than they are looking for someone who believes exactly what they do. People are willing to spend more money on an authentic product than they will on a knock off. They want to buy quality – when it comes to both products and people.
As we get ready to vote next week, I also believe this is one of the reasons that there is such little respect for politicians these days. As voters, it’s hard to understand what each candidate actually believes. Those politicians that clearly state what they believe will find that they will win by great margins over those that would rather be defined by political correctness.
But let me be clear, this is a principle that holds true not only for political leaders, but for all leaders.
Question: Are you more concerned with political correctness or authenticity? Is it evidenced by the “wins” in your leadership?